Roasting is my favorite way to prepare vegetables. The perfect roasted vegetable will be slightly crispy and brown on the outside and tender in the inside.
In simple terms roasting is a dry-heat cooking method that uses hot, dry, air to cook food. Like other dry-heat cooking methods, roasting browns the surface of the food which develops complex flavors and aromas.
A few tricks to perfectly roasted vegetables:
- Uniform pieces – Chop your vegetables into same size pieces and shaped. This will ensure even cooking.
– Keep in mind that denser vegetables like potatoes, cook slower than lighter ones, like mushrooms. Cut the denser vegetables into smaller pieces so they cook faster or add the less dense vegetables in the oven later, once the denser vegetables had a chance to cook a bit.
- Caramelization happens at the vegetables surface – for more caramelization, cut the vegetables with a larger surface area or flip mid way through cooking.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan – This is a common mistake. If you have a lot of vegetables spread them out onto two pans. Let the vegetables breathe and give them a little bit of space. When the vegetables are too close or stacked, it will cause the vegetables to steamy rather then roast, leaving you mushy vegetables.
- Remove excess moisture – The key to perfect browning is low moisture content. For example, eggplant is very porous and retains moisture. Remove the moisture by lightly seasoning the eggplant with salt and line in a colander. Place a paper towel on top and put a heavy pot on top to drain the excess moisture from the eggplant.
- Season simple – Lightly coat the vegetables with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. The roasting techniques really brings outs a delicious flavor. If you want to switch it up a bit add some thyme, rosemary, orange zest, cayenne pepper, cumin, fennel seeds, etc.
- Set the oven at the correct temperature – You want the oven to be hot enough to caramelize the natural sugars in the vegetables, but not too hot to let it burn! Set the oven to 400 degrees F for perfectly roasted vegetables.
What are your favorite vegetables to roast?